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Cooking

  • Barbecue is still king in the Carolinas

    When you go to your favorite rib joint in the Carolinas and ask for a plate of barbecue, you’re going to get a plate of steaming pulled (or chopped) pork, along with some coleslaw and hush puppies.

    If you have the time though, most of us would prefer making our own barbecue at home. The exception would be attending one of the many pig pickin’ events in the area. We used to have one every Fourth of July back at “The Brick” in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Regardless of what a lot of outsiders may say, in the Carolinas, barbecue means pulled pork!

  • Cooking fresh seafood requires just a few basic techniques

    With our abundance of fresh seafood here in Brunswick County, it’s really a rather simple process to prepare and cook seafood once you know the basic cooking techniques and tips to ensure success.

  • Cobb salad is as popular today as it was back in the ‘40s


    As the temperature rises, my appetite goes down. Heavy food tends to take a back seat during these warm days and lighter meals seem more appealing.

    The Cobb salad is one of the earliest main dish salads to appear on restaurant menus and continues to be a very popular salad. Its origin is credited to Bob Cobb, owner of The Brown Derby, a once-famous eatery in Hollywood in the early ‘30s and ‘40s.

  • Now what should I do with that catch of the day?

    Memorial Day weekend on the South Brunswick Islands signaled the beginning of a new season of beach activities, fishing, golfing, cookouts and anything else you might want to do during the start of our summer.

    It’s the start of our grilling season too, and that means plenty of hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, grilled chicken and pork, and plenty of seafood. For the fishing enthusiasts, it also means deciding what to do with your catch of the day once you return home.

  • Tortilla soup, like most Mexican food, is never short on flavor

    What’s not to love about authentic Mexican cuisine? From tacos, to empanadas, to enchiladas, to soups and tamales, I find it hard to choose a favorite.

    Most Mexican dishes include a generous helping of a serious red or green sauce, made from rich moles, pico de gallo or various salsas. Mexican food is never short on flavor. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas and the rest of the Mexican standards often rely on beef, which in Mexico is usually shredded rather than ground.

  • Tired of potatoes? Try some creamy, white cheddar grits instead

    We seem to gravitate toward potatoes whenever planning our meals. Hash browns for breakfast, French fries for lunch and mashed potatoes for dinner. We may change it around a bit and make some potato pancakes, scalloped potatoes, fried potatoes, potato salad or potatoes au gratin.

    Do we see a trend here? Creamy grits are a perfect substitute for potatoes at any meal — breakfast, lunch or dinner. When planning your next meal, why not consider some creamy grits? Or better yet, make some cheesy creamy grits.

  • It really is possible to make outstanding ribs in your oven

     When it comes to outdoor cooking, many of us are at a considerable disadvantage. During the warmer, prime time cook-out season, those with outdoor grills and smokers will be busy heating up the charcoal, stuffing firewood into smokers or, like most, just turning the knob on their gas grill.

     

  • The fresh crunch of spring onions will complement any salad

    With the arrival of our warm weather, the fresh crunch of spring onions will complement any salad.

    Though spring and green onions are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between them. Spring onions have larger leaves and are harvested after a small bulb has formed. Green onions are harvested before any bulb has formed. If you leave them in longer, you’ll end up with a nice, round regular cooking onion.

     

    Cooking with spring onions

  • Baked sweet bell peppers will complement most any meal

    Bell peppers are named for their bell shape. Readily available at local produce markets and grocery stores in a wide range of colors, bell peppers can be green, red, yellow, orange, purple, black, white or even striped.

    Green bell peppers tend to be the least sweet, almost slightly bitter, while the yellow, orange and the red ones are the sweetest. But the green peppers are almost always the cheapest.

     

  • For me, crab cakes are a delicious obsession

    For a long time, I used to buy crab cakes at the grocery store wherever they were on sale, but I prefer the crab cakes I make at home rather than the ones available at the local grocery. For me, they’re really simple. Most people try to do too much to them.